It’s common to hear a visitor to The Museum of Flight wonder how astronauts go to the bathroom in space. Today is the continuation of a conversation with Museum of Flight staff member Brenda Mandt, who spearheads the tours of the Museum’s NASA Space Shuttle Full Fuselage Trainer, where she talks about modern space toilets on the Space Shuttle and on the ISS. She also talks about what did and didn’t about toilet and personal care needs when women joined the US space program. As with the previous episode (which you can listen to here), this is a frank and honest conversation about toilets and what goes in them, so listen to learn more but maybe not while you’re snacking.
Welcome to the
Flight Deck Podcast
Listen to all of the Museum’s best aviation and aerospace stories on the Flight Deck Podcast, a podcast that makes history personal. Episodes released every other Tuesday. We hope you enjoy it!!
“How do astronauts go to the bathroom in space?” This is a question we hear often at the Museum, asked by people young and old from all around the world. Host Sean Mobley enlisted Museum of Flight expert Brenda Mandt, one of the masterminds behind the Museum’s NASA Space Shuttle Full Fuselage Trainer Tours, to investigate how humans carry out this universal body function in space. In this first of two episodes, Brenda shares about the early tests and solutions developed for the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions. They were messy and uncomfortable!
Bill Wilson, a Vietnam Veteran and Museum of Flight Docent, features in this episode of The Flight Deck, sharing his story of bailing out of his crashing General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark just a few miles from Hanoi, the capital of the Communist government of Vietnam, during the Vietnam War. Surrounded by hills, jungle, and enemy combatants, Wilson did everything he could to evade capture long enough for a rescue attempt, a situation made more complicated by the constantly changing weather which foiled efforts to extract him.
Museum of Flight Docent Jerry Coy returns to The Flight Deck to share a story of survival behind enemy lines. When Captain Roger Locher’s McDonnell F-4 Phantom was hit by fire from a Vietnamese MiG-21, he safely bailed out…only to realize he was months away by foot from safety, and was deep in Communist territory, making an air rescue extremely dangerous. In order to extract him, the Air Force would have to essentially “pause” the war. Today’s episode details Locher’s saga deep in the northern reaches of Vietnam.
Wrapping up the Collections miniseries, today we’re looking at the oldest artifact in our archives. To find it, we need to go back behind-the-scenes, into the Rare Book Room of the Museum’s Harl V. Brackin library to find an object that predates the US Constitution.
Located in the Charles Simonyi Space Gallery, an exhibit space dedicated to modern space exploration, you’ll find the youngest artifact in our collection: An American flag flown to space on the historic Blue Origin New Shepard NS-3 Launch. In today’s episode of the Flight Deck, we’ll take a look at the flag and it’s story, and also learn why stories are at the heart of any museum…and how the stories told in museums have changed over time.
As we continue to prepare for the Museum’s re-opening, and as we simultaneously ramp-up our digital education offerings for students, our podcast team is sad to announce a delay in our “Collections” miniseries, but thrilled to share this interview with retired NASA Astronaut Mike Mullane instead.
Host Sean Mobley brings the second part of this behind-the-scenes mini-series featuring the “extremes” of the Museum of Flight’s collection. Following on to our previous episode, where we blasted off to the moon with our smallest artifact (listen here https://blog.museumofflight.org/flightdeck/smallest-artifact) today we’re staying very close to home on our Museum of Flight campus to look at our Biggest artifact, something so big that moving it took boats, barges, and cranes!
Host Sean Mobley brings us part one of an all-new mini-series featuring The Museum of Flight’s most extreme artifacts. In this series you will uncover the smallest, largest, oldest and youngest objects in our collection. Join us for a journey of wonderment and surprise as we discuss some of our most unique artifacts!